Body & Soul

Stories for Skeptics and Seekers

Edited by Susan Scott

Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers is a spiritual journey through experiences that can be liberating but also awkward and sometimes even dangerous, because women are so often excluded from conversations about spirituality. Liberation comes with breaking that age-old code of silence to talk about the messiness of faith, practice, religion and ceremony, to confess our sublimely unconventional modes of spiritual yearning.

The writers in this volume, including Sharon Bala, Carleigh Baker, Eufemia Fantetti, Sue Goyette, K.D. Miller, Zarqa Nawaz, Alison Pick, Sigal Samuel, Ayelet Tsabari, Betsy Warland and others, many from marginalized or misunderstood communities, are speaking out so that others will speak up. Enough of fear. Enough of hiding out, tongue-tied. It’s time for joy, humanity and frankness. It’s time to step up and lead—not by running after answers, but by asking caring, daring questions. It’s time for body and soul.

“Lit with honesty and insight, these essays show us how our spirit and intellect are intricately connected — and that they are allies, not adversaries. This book is a revelation.”
—Sarah Selecky, author of Radiant Shimmering Light

“… a unique approach to writing about one’s spiritual journey. The contributors share personal stories of their unravelling and re-evaluating, often followed by a revisioning of what is right for them. […] Like a good meal, these stories stay with the reader long after they are finished.”

Body & Soul takes its strength from the individuality of its authors. It considers perspectives that aren’t often given space. The essays themselves are both powerful explorations of faith and beautifully written examinations of self. Even for readers who do not align with any particular religion or faith and who are not, as the authors often find themselves, on the outskirts of their communities, there is a commonality to be found in the works. Everything is not black and white — and in the greyness, the reader will find equality and perhaps even something familiar and healing.”
The Ormsby Review

Table of Contents

“Wake Up: A Foreword,” Alison Pick
“Unfinished Journey,” Jagtar Kaur Atwal
“In a Canoe, Chasing My Métis Grandmother,” Carleigh Baker
“The Madonna in the Linen Closet,” Sharon Bala
“Mother and Child,” Dora Dueck
“I Am Karenahti:ne,” Carolina Echeverria
“Repent, Sinner,” Eufemia Fantetti
“My Uterus Is a Tree,” Meharoona Ghani
“Poetent,” Sue Goyette
“My Flannery,” Liz Harmer
“Embracing Impermanence,” Sheniz Janmohamed
“Second Chakra,” Pam Johnson
“Are You There, God? It’s Me, Talking to Mary Karr,” Tamara Jong
“Star Women,” Jónína Kirton
“The Places in Between,” Amanda Leduc
“Yoga Rage,” Kirsteen MacLeod
“The Seraphim,” Emily McKibbon
“The Petrified Dancers,” Lori McNulty
“Spotted Dick,” Lindy Mechefske
“A Great Silence,” K.D. Miller
“Writing from the Inside,” Zarqa Nawaz
“Ceremony,” Christine Pountney
“A Real Woman,” Heidi Reimer
“The Kabbalist in the Kitchen,” Sigal Samuel
“Zion’s Children,” Susan Scott
“Bad Jew, Good Jew,” Ayelet Tsabari
“Out of the Darkness,” Sandy Wabegijig
“Twenty Pages and a Razor Blade,” Betsy Warland
“Saved by a Red-Winged Blackbird,” Julia Zarankin